# Light Communication Question

## Homework Statement

Explain how polarizing light shows light travels as a transverse wave.

## The Attempt at a Solution

Light is generally an un-polarized electromagnetic wave but there are different ways that light waves are able to be polarized. I am unclear how the process of polarizing light shows that light travels as a transverse wave.

vela
Staff Emeritus
Homework Helper
What does it mean for light to be polarized?

What does it mean for light to be polarized?
Polarized light waves are light waves in which the vibrations occur in a single plane?

vela
Staff Emeritus
Homework Helper
Vibrations of what?

Vibrations of what?
Im not sure.

vela
Staff Emeritus
Homework Helper
Well, that's what your textbook is for.

Well, that's what your textbook is for.
vibrations of the light wave?

vibrations of the light wave?
vibrations of electric charges*

Ray Vickson
Homework Helper
Dearly Missed
vibrations of electric charges*

No. Vibrations of electric charge give rise to light waves, but the waves themselves can travel through empty space where there are no charges to vibrate. The electric and magnetic fields vibrate, and those are not material things.

No. Vibrations of electric charge give rise to light waves, but the waves themselves can travel through empty space where there are no charges to vibrate. The electric and magnetic fields vibrate, and those are not material things.
I am clearly lost can you please explain the answer to me.

haruspex
Homework Helper
Gold Member
2020 Award
I am clearly lost can you please explain the answer to me.
Do you understand the concept of electric field?

Do you understand the concept of electric field?
yes

haruspex
Homework Helper
Gold Member
2020 Award
yes
Do you understand that an electromagnetic wave consists of an electric field and a magnetic field, at right angles, each oscillating?

Do you understand that an electromagnetic wave consists of an electric field and a magnetic field, at right angles, each oscillating?
some what

haruspex